If you have ever experienced a narcissist or sociopath firsthand, you will have been left wondering how they can possibly treat other human beings with such little regard.
Their behavior towards others is often so cold and heartless that it seems almost unbelievable, but they are able to act in such a manner because of a particular mental toolset.
It probably exists primarily on an unconscious level, but this mechanism allows them to perpetrate acts of malice – bordering on evil – without the emotional barriers or consequences, a healthy mind would experience.
This mechanism is dehumanization and it is exactly what it sounds like. A narcissist or sociopath will mentally strip away everything about someone that might be considered a human trait. In their mind, they will try to turn them from living, breathing individuals into mere abstract entities that they can manipulate and use like they would anything else in their environment.
This process is not only something that occurs in their head, however; there are very real means by which they achieve this aim, and these can be incredibly destructive to the other person. They include: